DFI's CEO John Dolan to lead a 13 strong delegation to the Fifth European Parliament of Persons with Disabilities

March 16 2023, 12:58pm

Fifth Parliament Quote 1

As one of the national members of the European Disability Forum (EDF), DFI will be leading a delegation to the Fifth European Parliament of Persons with Disabilities taking place in Brussels on Tuesday 23 May 2023. The European Parliament of Persons with Disabilities is a platform to discuss the rights of persons with disabilities and decide on the political demands of the European disability movement. The event takes place in the European Parliament in Brussels, usually one year ahead of the European Elections.

DFI had recently put a call out for applications from persons with disabilities or with a lived experience of disability to be part of our delegation. We had 59 expressions of interest and are delighted to be able to bring a 13 strong delegation which will be led by DFI's CEO John Dolan

Commenting as the delegation was finalised John said, "The delegation is a strong and committed team of disabled persons with diverse perspectives and lived experience who will engage with their disabled colleagues from all member states.

"The EU is more important than ever as a defender and promoter of the human rights and dignity of disabled people.

"We look forward to announcing the full delegation information as soon as possible and to bringing you more updates as we get closer to the event in May."

Themes and Topics for 2023 

The theme for the event is “Building an inclusive future for persons with disabilities in the EU.”

Delegates will be attenting panels and plenary debates which will be taking place in the hemicycle of the European Parliament, on the following topics: 

  • UN CRPD 
  • Political and Civil participation 
  • Free movement 
  • A more social Europe  
  • The EU’s resilience to crisis.  

Each national delegation will also have the chance to make a contribution on one of these topics. This will be agreed and prepared in advance. There will also be many networking opportunities.  

The draft agenda for the event is available here

Frequently Asked Questions on the Fifth European Parliament for Persons with Disabilities 

How is the delegation number decided? 

DFI’s delegation will comprise 13 delegates. This is the maximum number allowed as it corresponds with the number of Irish MEP seats at the European Parliament. The delegation will be led by John Dolan, CEO of DFI. Other DFI staff members may attend to coordinate the delegation throughout the planned visit.   

How many other people will be attending the European Parliament of Persons with Disabilities?

Delegations from each Member State of the European Union will be present. 600 disability advocates, policymakers and other stakeholders are expected to attend on the day.  

Will the event be live streamed? 

As the event is invitation-only, given the space constraints of the hemicycle, arrangements are being put in place for accessible live streaming of the events. We will have more information on this closer to the event in May.